Earlier this week, I sat down (virtually) with recent Stamps graduate Zack Williams. Having been in a few classes with him, I was intrigued with his impressive 3D skills and passion for shoe design.
Zack (aka “Husha”) has many artistic talents–creative direction, graphic design, UX design, animation, and more. His main path right now is 3D and physical product design–which can be seen on his Behance and Dribbble. Zack told me he gravitates toward athletic products, because he likes making things with a purpose or strong functionality.
As a budding sneaker enthusiast, I was super interested in Zack’s knack for footwear. When asked about how he got into shoe design, he said, “I got into shoes when I was a kid. I think I was around eight. I have an older brother who was really into basketball and at the time I wasn’t as good as him on the court. So my way of getting around it was one year, he entered in a shoe contest and he was drawing shoes for about a week. So I just did the same thing as a little kid, copying him. I guess I just never stopped.”
Zack’s inspiration for his shoe designs comes from nature and the human body. He thinks of shoes as as natural extension of the body, with the “foot in the shoe, the shoe, and the world around it,” where it’s a conduit between the human form and the natural world. Furthermore, he takes inspiration from artist such as James Turrell, who works with light and architecture, and Gisela Colon, a minimalist sculptor.
One of his favorite projects is the Coda One, which is an intricate 3D printed shoe design based on microscopic cell structures. He said, “It makes me miss the 3D printers that we had at Stamps. Having your product realized as a physical form is super cool as an artist. For sophomore year I had an idea [t0 make this shoe], and I never finished it, so it was a continuation of Sophomore Studio.”
Furthermore, Zack told me he is working on a plethora of design projects. For one, he’s working on starting an animation studio with a fellow Stamps student, Seth St. Pierre. Zack is also working with a UofM staff member on UI/UX and 3D modeling, as well as interviewing for design careers. In the future, he hopes to be running his animation company and build connections with the sports and pop culture industries, in addition to breaking into installation art.